The next big disrupter, conversational Artificial Intelligence {Voice search}

The digital assistants then engage directly with their corresponding search engine to tap into the knowledge graph as well as their specific knowledge repository to provide a response and an answer.

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Within the search marketing space, there has been a lot of talk about voice search. Many are projecting voice search as the next big thing — in fact, as the next marketplace disruptor.

But the truth is, voice search probably isn’t going to be the next big thing. Yes, voice search is disrupting text-based searches, and this is causing a few raised eyebrows. However, voice is only a small part of the disruption that’s happening today.

I agree with the dissenting points of view that voice search isn’t the next big disrupter; because I believe that conversational AI is.

Conversational AI is what’s really disrupting and shifting the consumer behavior, and voice search is just a component of that bigger picture.

There, I said it.

Now, let’s talk about it. It’s hard to distinguish between voice search and voice-assisted engagements through digital assistance (aka conversational AI). So, my intention here is to outline the differences between these two entities and explain what you, as marketers, need to do to take advantage of both.

Voice search vs. conversational AI

When you think about voice search, it’s actually not that revolutionary. The AI-based technology of natural language processing that enables voice search is pretty awesome and amazing; however, voice search is just a mode in which people are engaging with search engines.

There are three ways that people can engage with the search engines. They can engage through typing or text, their voice or conversation, and through images. Voice search essentially involves doing a query using voice instead of text. That’s the only difference.

When we think about the difference between voice search and conversational AI (the voice assistance component) what’s important to recognize is that searches are continuously happening. It’s just how people are conducting the search that’s shifting and disrupting the marketplace.

Voice assistance is using your voice to engage with some sort of intelligent technology — like a digital assistant, a chatbot, or potentially even a voice skill — to ask a question and find an answer or to control other technology and the IoT.

Here’s the big differentiator: Instead of using Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. directly, we are now asking questions of, and talking with, third parties like Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri, and the like.

Those third parties are typically digital assistants that engage with our voice. So, nowadays, I say, “Hey, Siri”,“Hey, Cortana”, “Okay, Google” or “Hey, Alexa,” whenever I have a question or something I want information about.

The digital assistants then engage directly with their corresponding search engine to tap into the knowledge graph as well as their specific knowledge repository to provide a response and an answer. Search is the intelligence platform powering intelligent agents.

That’s conversational AI, and it’s changing the way people engage with search.

Say goodbye to the age of touch as the primary interface

What we are seeing with this, in terms of voice assistance, is a shift in how people engage, where the search results are coming from, and how that response is derived. As marketers, we are used to developing programs and marketing plans in an era where touch and screens are the primary user interfaces between consumers and devices.

“The age of touch as the primary user interface between consumers and devices is being disrupted. We’re entering the age of conversational interfaces that are powered by our voice and gestures.” — Me.

We’re entering the age of conversational interfaces powered by our voice, sometimes even our gestures if there’s an AR/VR technology component in place, and it doesn’t even have to involve a screen. Increasingly, these devices do have screens, but their job mostly involves listening and delivering a spoken response.

And as marketers, we have a real opportunity on the horizon.

Voice search — It’s all about position zero and owning your graph

When you type a query into a search engine, hundreds of options pop up. It’s different with voice. When people engage in a voice search using a digital assistant, roughly 40 percent of the spoken responses today (and some say as many as 80%) are derived from “featured snippet” within the search results.

In search speak, that’s position zero. When you are that featured snippet in an organic search, that’s what the assistant is going to default to as the spoken response. Siri, Google, Cortana and Alexa don’t respond with the other ten things that are a possibility on that search page. Just the one.

When you consider this, it’s clear why position zero is becoming really important, because, while you might be number two in the text-based searches, you’re getting little to no traffic if people are engaging with intelligent agents and listening to the spoken response.

The opportunity here is to become that position zero, so you can win the search and win the traffic. But how? It goes back to the best practices of organic search, basic SEO, and having a solid strategy.

It’s embracing schema markup and structured data within your website, so you are providing search engines with signals and insights to be included in the knowledge graph. It’s claiming your business listings so that the data is up-to-date and correct. It’s understanding the questions people are asking and incorporating that question and conversational tone into your content.

Simply put: It’s understanding the language your customers are using so that you can provide value and answers in their own words and phrases. So, let’s conclude with that.

Say goodbye to the age of touch https://goo.gl/MrnGaH

Here’s why you should attend clinical compliance trainings

No doubt, the OIG recommends guidelines and doesn’t mandate implementation of any of them.

Wondering if you should attend clinical compliance trainings? The following paragraphs will explain to you the criticality of clinical compliance trainings. We hope this article will help you understand why you should attend clinical compliance trainings.

First, let us start with an understanding of clinical compliance, after which we will lead to into an understanding of why you should attend clinical trainings: Clinical compliance, as different from laboratory compliance, is mainly about adhering to the guidelines relating to areas of healthcare such as billing, coding, medical claims, insurance and related ones, although it is common to come across terms that use the two words, “clinical” and “laboratory” together, somewhat loosely and interchangeably.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which comes under the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), set out these guidelines for clinical compliance in August 1998. This guideline, formally termed the Compliance Program Guidance for Clinical Laboratories, which replaced the model compliance plan of March 1997, is considered more accurate and consistent with the current clinical practices.

It sets out guidelines for clinical compliance by suggesting seven areas to which a clinical setting must comply. The OIG suggests that a clinical practice must have these systems in place to show compliance with its guideline of 1998:

  • It must have written policies, procedures and standards in place, which will set out its rules of conduct
  • The clinical practice must have a compliance officer and a compliance committee
  • It should impart effective training and education
  • It should keep effective lines of communication open
  • It should enforce compliance standards through well-publicized disciplinary guidelines
  • It should implement a mechanism for internal monitoring and auditing
  • It should put in place resources that help it to respond promptly to any error or offense it could detect. It should develop corrective action.

Now, here’s why you should attend clinical compliance trainings

No doubt, the OIG recommends guidelines and doesn’t mandate implementation of any of them. But this is no comfort because a look at the guidelines makes it clear that effective training and education is a must. Noncompliance with this, or for that matter, any of these guidelines is taken seriously. What happens if an organization fails to meet these requirements?

pathology

A cursory look at some of the random cases in which the OIG, under its Project Lab Scam has imposed penalties on clinical practices that have not complied with the regulations will shed light on the need for clinical compliance trainings:

  • Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) had to pay nearly $200 million to resolve civil penalties under the False Claim Act (FCA). The reason: it allegedly submitted claims for medically unnecessary tests
  • As far back as in the mid-1990’s, Damon Clinical Laboratories entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) of close to $120 million in civil and criminal penalties. Its crime: submitting false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs
  • By far, the biggest catch has been of the highly reputable SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories. It was made to pay astronomical settlement charges of $325 million because the OIG detected violations in the company’s Medicare, Medicaid, CHAMPUS, and Railroad Retirement Board health care programs.

Seemingly simple reasons for penalizing

While these are some of the high-profile cases that have made the headlines, as recently as July 18, 2018, eClinical Works, LLC was made to cough up $132,500 in penalties. The nature of its offence: noncompliance in reporting Patient Safety Issues as Reportable Events in a timely manner as required by the OIG!

If this is the extent to which a clinical practice can be penalized, aren’t these enough reasons for why should attend clinical compliance trainings? Here’s why you should attend clinical compliance trainings:

Clinical

The HHS considers a clinical practice to be compliant when it has satisfactorily met all the guidelines it has set out. According to it, a practice is considered compliant when it carries these out among other things:

  • It charges, bills and documents rightly
  • Its facility is approved
  • Reimburses accurately

Another reason for why you should attend clinical compliance trainings: A clinical setting cannot take chances with any of these guidelines. It is only through the right clinical compliance trainings that it will be able to do this. There are those who complain about the upper cost of clinical compliance trainings. Now, this is cynical at best and poor low-level thinking at worst. Any clinical practice that thinks on these lines has to decide which of these is more prudent: spending a few hundred dollars on compliance training or save them to cough up millions!

https://oig.hhs.gov/authorities/docs/cpglab.pdf

https://academic.oup.com/labmed/article/40/7/428/2504865

https://www.hcca-info.org/Portals/0/PDFs/Resources/Conference_Handouts/Compliance_Institute/2017/P13print2.pdf

https://www.uclahealth.org/compliance/workfiles/PDF2/ComplianceTraining-Staff.pdf

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/presentation/6f36/94dae4a56c396754f0db36baeb34c6aebaa5.pdf

https://www.hcca-info.org/Portals/0/PDFs/Resources/Conference_Handouts/Compliance_Institute/2013/POST/POSTAM10print2.pdf

http://www.msm.edu/Administration/Compliance/hipaa/clinical.php

https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/enforcement/ciae/stipulated-penalties.asp

This is How SOX Compliance will Look like in the [Future]

It is a lot easier to trace transactions today than they were a decade ago.

Formally known as the “Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act” in the US Senate and as the “Corporate and Auditing Accountability and Responsibility Act” in the House of Representatives, Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) is a landmark legislation that the American Congress passed in 2002. Named for the sponsors of this Bill, senators Paul Sarbanes and Mike Oxley, it was passed in the wake of the financial scandals of huge American corporations that rocked the American economy, such as Tyco, Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen and Global Crossing among others that shook investor confidence.

Effective from 2006, what SOX does is to mandate laws for strict accountability from firms that do business in the US. This included not only American, but foreign firms as well. The aim of SOX was to stipulate a broad and strong accounting framework for all companies that do business in the US. SOX consists of eleven sections. Among its most important provisions are the establishment of a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) under the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the designation of civil and criminal penalties for companies that are found to be noncompliant and violative of the provisions.

Making companies more accountable financially

The crux of the requirement is for companies to establish a framework for financial accounting which will enable them to generate thoroughly verifiable financial reports whose data source should be traceable. The data should also have electronic information of all details of access, such as who accessed what data, when it was done, what was done during the access, and what action was carried out.

Since SOX compliance is mandatory for most companies, how does it feel to comply with the provisions of this Act? If we are asked to speculate what SOX compliance will look like in the future, we need to look at it from the standpoint of technology. This is because technology is inseparable from accounting. Most transactions are electronic in nature. Technology has taken us to a point where manual recordkeeping and accounting are almost totally obsolete.

This is how SOX compliance will look like in the future

In this backdrop, prognosticating how SOX compliance will look like in the future is tentative. This is because of the changing nature of technology. Technology, as we are aware, keeps changing by the minute. As more technological advances are made, it is only natural to expect them to be incorporate into technology-dependent and technology-propelled activities that SOX requires. It is a lot easier to trace transactions today than they were a decade ago.

Technology, as we are all aware, is totally unpredictable. Even as SOX-compliant systems start getting used to a technology, updates and developments into it could trigger the need for more amendments. An unexpected development can throw the whole adaption process asunder.

Uniqueness which could make it the ultimate technology https://goo.gl/kNBRGA

Exploring the Fundamentals of [Blockchain]

By having a consensus mechanism, the blockchain is protected from having any one actor, good or bad, affecting it.

While the concepts of cryptocurrency and blockchain have been around for years, it wasn’t until Bitcoin’s recent and dramatic explosion in value that these terms became mainstream. Once the digital currency peaked at nearly $20,000 in early 2018, the market was primed for an influx of other cryptocurrency, blockchain, and microtransaction organizations looking to cash in on this new marketplace.

In this article, we are going to dive into what blockchain is, the concept of triple-entry accounting, how this impacts the world of money and finance, IoT and microtransactions, and lastly, some important forces that are driving blockchain expansion and adoption.

Blockchain Overview

First off, what is blockchain? Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and it was invented for Bitcoin in order to create the first truly online virtual currency. At its core, it’s a data storage mechanism that’s implemented by a basket of technologies including distributed computers — so, the blockchain really exists all over the world without a centralized authority. In this model, those computers are working together to create a consensus to securely verify every transaction. By having a consensus mechanism, the blockchain is protected from having any one actor, good or bad, affecting it.

Because of the way these technologies work together, blockchain has certain useful characteristics. First, the blockchain is immutable, which means it’s unchanging. Once a transaction is appended or recorded on the blockchain, it’s impossible for it to be changed. Cryptography and the novel ‘proof of work’ algorithm at the heart of blockchain mean it is safe and that transactions recorded on it can’t be changed.

Another characteristic is that it is “trustless.” Like every transaction that occurs on the internet, the parties don’t really need to know each other or be in physical proximity to one another for the transaction occur. But unlike other types of transactions, say a credit card transaction, there’s no central authority required — the blockchain is the authority. That consensus mechanism and those computers working together are what creates that environment where two parties can transact with each other. No centralized authority or middle-man (nor their fees) is required.

Bitcoin uses the blockchain to create “money” on the internet and allow money to change hands. But once that blockchain is in place, it can be used for things other than money changing hands and any kind of contract or transaction might be recorded on the blockchain. The blockchain is ideally suited for these sorts of interactions because it’s distributed, has a consensus mechanism in place, is immutable, and is secure. These other transactions are referred to as ‘Smart Contracts.’

Blockchain expansion and adoption https://goo.gl/WfG536

Google’s change to Chrome’s login has ignited “debate” about whether the move was sneaky

The privacy model is simply broken. Companies are constantly changing the rules of the game.

Google’s surprise change to a privacy setting in its popular Chrome web browser is raising hackles from privacy advocates and some users of the product who say that the company has not been upfront enough.

The change, which was little noticed until a security researcher blogged about it on Sunday night, has left the internet company fighting a familiar criticism: that its appetite for data to fuel its online ad business trumps its concerns about its users.

Matthew Green, a security and cryptography researcher from Johns Hopkins University blogged about the change Google quietly made as part of the browser’s latest update, Chrome 69. Green wrote that from now on, when people login in to YouTube, Gmail or any of the company’s properties, they will automatically be logged in to Chrome at the same time.

Late on Sunday night, Google responded to the growing controversy by confirming the login change.

IT-Jobs-Security-Researcher

This is dramatic change and a possible threat to users’ privacy, according to Green.

“Google believes they can make these changes without consequence,” said Marc Rotenberg, the president of consumer privacy advocacy group EPIC. “The privacy model is simply broken. Companies are constantly changing the rules of the game.”

What’s all the fuss about?

For years, Google allowed users of its Chrome browser to surf the web without logging in through a personal Google account. Chrome users didn’t have to worry that their web browsing history would be included with the other personal data Google maintains about registered users of its products. For that to happen, a user would have to sign in to Chrome and to consent to a “data sync” between Chrome and the other Google products they use.

Now that Google logs people in to Chrome automatically, managers have  removed one of those steps of protection, Green wrote. What’s more, he said, a new and “confusing” sync-consent page, makes it easy for users to mistakenly give up their browsing data to Google.

Eric Lawrence, a former Google employee who worked on Chrome but is now employed by rival Microsoft, said he doesn’t see any reason to be alarmed.

“Yes, Chrome has streamlined the opt-in to the browser’s “Sync” features, such that you no longer need to individually type your username and password when enabling Sync,” Lawrence wrote. “Whether you consider this “Great!” or “Terrible!” is a matter of perception and threat model.”

Lawrence points out that when someone clicks the consent button, they will then get a pop-up that informs them of the information they are agreeing to share with Google.

In that prompt, Google notifies users that the company will collect info from users’ “bookmarks, passwords, history and more on all your devices…Google may use content on sites you visit, plus browser activity and interactions to personalize Chrome and other Google services like Translate, Search and ads.”

‘My heart skips a beat’

Plenty of people wrote that they don’t see this as a benign change, including former Googlers. Michał Zalewski, is a computer security expert and former Google employee. He sided with Green that Google has made Chrome less safe.

“Don’t like to pile on,” Zalewski wrote on Twitter, “but I did rely on that as a visual confirmation that the browser is not doing something I didn’t want. Now, my heart skips a beat every time I see the profile-switch menu or chrome://settings – and it’d only take one mis-click to actually start syncing.”

Huge changes in these updates very helpful  http://bit.ly/2NBhAMC Dont miss it

Why You Must Keep Carrying Out Risk Management Throughout Your Business [Lifetime]

This places risk management right up there at the very top as among the most crucial elements of a business.

What makes risk management critical? Well, business that comes with no risk is no business at all. It is like the side effect of a medicine. It is impossible to think of the medication without the side effects. Risk being inhered into a business and intricately woven into it; it is necessary to understand why you must keep carrying out risk management throughout your business’ lifetime. This places risk management right up there at the very top as among the most crucial elements of a business.

Management and business experts have propounded the theory that risk can only be managed or contained, and never eliminated. This is the extent to which risk is bound to business. The enormity of risk management can be gauged from the fact that we only hear a term such as risk management, and seldom risk elimination. This indicates the inescapability of risk from a business.

riskmanagement

Carrying out risk management throughout the business lifetime is the key

Among the most important aspects to keep in mind about risk management is that it is not something an organization does at some point of time and forgets. It is something that should be carried out every now and then at every point of the business lifetime. Another core point related to this fact is that risks are never single or static. You could face several risks, connected to each other or not, at one point of time.

Further, risks keep changing from time to time. As one risk gets managed, another could spring up. This explains just why as an organization, you must keep carrying out risk management throughout your business’ lifetime. There are very many core reasons for carrying out risk management during the lifetime of the business whenever the occasion demands it.

Understanding the risk is the first step

Risk comes in various forms, shapes and sizes. Anyone who understands a business should start by understanding the risks in it first. Risk could be either relative to the business or the industry or it could be specific to the organization.

Any business is prone to what may be called general risks. Like mentioned, it is a risk that comes with an activity involving a certain kind of business. Irrespective of the nature, size and reach of the business or its market, there are risks such as market, changing consumer tastes, shifting market size and trends, geographical location and so on.

And then, the specific ones

In addition to the general risks that come with any business, a business has to also take into consider the risks that are specific to it, regardless of which industry it is in. Some of the specific risks that come to mind are:

  • Do our employees carry the right skillsets for this industry and this business?
  • Do we have the right resources for growing?
  • How many of our people could be off work on any given day across the business and what are our backup plans?
  • What are our plans for raising funding through the investors and what if they fail to get convinced?
  • What risk will befall our business if the top management quits?
  • What is our disaster recovery plan?
  • Do we have the resilience to handle major disasters and there any that our business is prone to, being located where it is?

Management experts pin down these risk management principles into these main elements:

  • Understanding or establishing the risk
  • Identifying them
  • Analyzing them
  • Evaluating how to manage them.

Do it before it is late

The key to risk management is to not only understand that you must keep carrying out risk management throughout your business’ lifetime, but that you must act before the risk happens. This is where the business’ ken to handling risk management lies. The organization that does this is one that has understood its business best and is ahead of the rest. What happens when risk management is applied after the risk has occurred is that the severity is hardly reduced, while risk management done before the onset of a risk ensures that the risk is contained, and its effects mitigated, which risk management truly is essentially all about.

 

https://opentextbc.ca/projectmanagement/chapter/chapter-16-risk-management-planning-project-management/

https://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/manage-risk/

https://www.barkersllp.com/risk-management-why-neglecting-it-is-one-of-the-riskiest-thing-you-can-do/

https://www.brokerlink.ca/blog/risk-management/

http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Safety/Why-is-risk-management-important-4715.aspx

Things you most likely didn’t know about [OSHA Compliance]

Legally, OSHA can bring a warranty asking to enter a rebellious facility. More importantly, such workplaces become special targets of OSHA inspections.

Requirements set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are aimed at ensuring safety at the workplace. Formulated in 1971 under President Richard Nixon, it was one of the landmark legislations in any part of the world. Today, almost all kinds of workplaces in the US are regulated by OSHA.

Through its concerted efforts, OSHA has largely been a success, if one takes into account the fatality rate at the workplace it has succeeded in reducing: at the time of its promulgation, the fatality rate of workers in workplaces in the US was 14,000 a year. That number was reduced to 4340 by 2009. This number assumes greater significance when we consider the fact that the number of workplaces multiplied several times during this period.

That OSHA has been able to keep this number to such a low level is a tribute to its efficiency and perseverance. It is all the more commendable when seen in light of the fact that it covers over 130 million workers in over seven million workplaces all around the country.

Let us recount some facts about OSHA compliance, which we hope could throw up things you most likely didn’t know about OSHA Compliance:

Inspections are the soul of OSHA compliance

Inspections are the medium through which OSHA implements its provisions. OSHA compliance is guaranteed through this mechanism. So, it is important to know what workplaces must do to make OSHA inspections hassle-free, which is the means to ensuring OSHA compliance.

healthcare-administration-specialties_lightbox

It is legally permitted to block access to an OSHA inspector

Although allowed legally, not many workplaces would actually dare to do this for fear of adverse consequences. Legally, OSHA can bring a warranty asking to enter a rebellious facility. More importantly, such workplaces become special targets of OSHA inspections.

You are bound to keep the workplace safe

The employers have a duty to ensure the safety of the workplace, even if there is no specific regulation pertaining to their particular industry or type or workforce. This could be among the things you most likely didn’t know about OSHA Compliance. Why? It is considered a general duty which has to be enforced without being told to through legislation, and for which the penalty is high in case of violation or non-implementation.

Challenging of an OSHA citation has a timeframe

Normally, most citations from the OSHA have to be challenged through proper channels within 15 working days of receipt. Reasons such as vacations are not taken into consideration.

You have access to sizeable information about OSHA https://goo.gl/YrsP53